What to Know About Neurodiversity Awareness Month

Did you know that roughly 20% of the world’s population identifies as neurodivergent? Although that percentage may be sizable, not many people fully know what the term neurodivergent means. Thanks to Neurodiversity Awareness Month, it doesn’t have to stay that way.

With more understanding of cognitive differences, anyone can help create a supportive space for those around them. Read on to learn three things you should know about Neurodiversity Month!

Understand What Neurodiversity Is

Neurodiversity Awareness Month supports the idea that differences in the brain can be strengths rather than hindrances. Even more importantly, those differences should be respected. In other words, there’s no singular way to describe how a brain should function. As a result, neurodiversity embraces all people. An Australian sociologist named Judy Singer created the term in the late 1990s. 

Today, the term typically is used to describe those with autism, dyslexia, and ADHD, among other conditions. Individuals with these conditions have different ways of taking in information and processing it. They may also show different behavioral tendencies. Neurodiversity celebrations aim to bring awareness to the mosaic of neurological conditions and celebrate them. 

Anyone Can Participate in Neurodiversity Awareness Month

Neurodiversity Awareness Month typically occurs annually in April, though some organizations choose to host their own versions of it at different times.  Presentations, training events, and activities can help participants identify misconceptions about neurodivergent people. The outcomes of these activities may lead to a more encouraging organizational team. Participation may be as simple as being a willing listener.

Many workplaces hold internal events. These are designed to help employees gain awareness about cognitive differences. Designing accessible informational packets and holding workshops can result in a healthier workplace culture. Individuals may become more intentional about self-education.

Likewise, schools can get involved. This can include featuring neurodivergent speakers at assemblies or assigning students to write about neurodivergent individuals. Posters, PowerPoints, and other presentations can help promote education and empathy. OhanaHC works with a network of volunteers and organizations to celebrate students’ differences and support them on a journey toward success. 

Education Builds Inclusivity

Celebrating Neurodiversity Awareness Month, even in the smallest ways, can help foster a more inclusive and supportive environment.  Understanding what neurodiversity encompasses can help schools and employers develop ways to be more accommodating to those with different conditions. 

For instance, this could include offering flexible remote work options. Or it may mean offering quieter workspaces. In a school, a teacher may modify a lesson plan to suit different learning styles.

When everyone makes an effort to support neurodivergent individuals, they help empower them to be self-advocates. Neurodiversity Awareness Month helps remove the stigma surrounding this term. That way, those with cognitive conditions can feel confident asking for the resources and considerations they need to be at their best. OhanaHC supports young individuals with a variety of neurological differences. Fill out the contact form on our website or email us at info@ohanahc.org to learn how you can help us!

Leave a Comment

Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

© 2023 || OhanaHC || 501(c)3 || All Rights Reserved